Mrs Hinch surprised fans with a clever hack for cleaning a washing machine – but it comes with a warning

Fans fled to the comments, keen for answers to the cleanfluencer's method

Sophie Hinchliffe
(Image credit: Alamy)

Although the concept of deep cleaning our appliances isn't the most glam of topics, Mrs Hinch found a way to spark interest in the task following a recent Instagram reel she posted of her cleaning her washing machine, and using a trick that surprised us.

We thought we knew how to clean a washing machine, but the cleanfluencer now has us questioning our methods after demonstrating how she cleans the detergent drawer.

Cleaning a washing machine should be a regular task on your cleaning calendar and Mrs Hinch kicked off the January clean-spiration by sharing a video of her cleaning her washing machine. Most of it looks pretty standard practice, but then to our bewilderment, she showed water coming out of the machine's detergent drawer compartment while cleaning it.

As a result of revealing this surprising trick for rinsing out the often-dirty detergent drawer of a washing machine, hundreds of fans fled to the comments, keen to know the inner workings of Mrs Hinch's magic method.

'What setting did you put it on to get the water to rinse into the drawer after you cleaned it?' queried a fan, garnering agreement from lots of others. 'Here for the answer to this,' replied one commenter, with another saying, 'Please I'd love to know also!'

The magic solution? Simply running a rinse cycle. 'But have a cloth to hand,' Mrs Hinch lightly cautions. Unless you want to risk a wet mess, at that. She goes on to explain that she only ran the cycle for half its course, draining the drum afterwards so she could continue cleaning.

Washing machine and dryer in utility room with light colour scheme

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Considering how much attention it drew from curious fans, we suspect it's a hack that many are looking to replicate.

However, Matt Ayres, appliance expert at RDO Kitchen & Appliances notes, 'Those who are keen to test out this trick for cleaning their washing machine drawer should proceed with caution', instead advising people to use appliances the way they are designed.

So rather, ensure that the detergent drawer is in its rightful place before running a wash cycle to avoid any mishaps (no wonder Mrs Hinch cautions fans to keep a cloth to hand if you choose to try out this hack).

Washing machine and tumble dryer in white utility room with woven storage baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC/Paul Raeside)

But if you're really adamant about giving it a whirl at home, rest assured that partaking in this hack at home won't cause any damage to your washing machine.

'It's not necessary to put your washing machine on the rinse cycle to clean the drawer compartment, however, you can if you want,' explains Nick Small,'s laundry expert.

Something to keep in mind is that a washing machine's rinse cycle is designed to rinse clothes and not the machine itself. Therefore, you may just end up wasting water unnecessarily, which could potentially result in a higher water bill.

Washing machine fitted in kitchen with green painted cabinets, shelving, and patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/Veronica Rodriguez)

For stubborn grime in the drawer compartment, Matt assures you that a toothbrush (or a Sonic Scrubber cleaning brush from Amazon, just like Mrs Hinch) and some soapy water are all you need. Alternatively, running a damp cloth through the compartment before reinserting the drawer can be just as effective.

Whichever you opt for, it's important to let all components air dry completely to prevent mould build-up in a washing machine.

Matt concludes, 'Once all the components have been put back in position after cleaning, run an empty wash cycle with the drawer in place. This will have the same effect as running one without and help clean away built-up detergent.'

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.